Described as the Mother of All Swiss Army Knives, a device featuring over 100 tools has gone on display. And it includes a .22 caliber revolver.
This multi-purpose tool has anything that a handyman might need, a piano tuner, a pocket knife, two dagger blades, a corkscrew, different types of shear scissors, and a serrated blade. It also has a cigar cutter, a tuning fork, two saws, a button hook, several pens, a straight razor, a butter knife, a cheese fork, a mechanical pencil, and a mirror.
Owned by the Smithsonian Institution and on display at the Buffalo Bill Centre of the West in Wyoming, USA, the ‘handy pocket knife’ is just the tool for the typical 19th century gentleman.
Created by John S. Holler in Germany for JS Holler & Co’s cutlery store, this beautifully crafted tool was said to be built ahead of the Swiss Army knife by 11 years in 1880.
According to the Smithsonian website, the device, which measures 3.5 inches wide and 9 inches long, wasn’t made meant to be carried. They explained, “Knives like this were made exclusively for exhibition to highlight the cutler’s art. They were so difficult to make they were only attempted by the most notable firms with the most talented artisans. They could be seen at various fairs and industrial expositions during the 19th century.”
It was only during the World War II when the term “Swiss Army Knife” was used. It was believed that American soldiers based in Germany had problems in pronouncing “Schweizer Offiziersmesser”, which means Swiss Officer’s Knife.
Here are some of the best Swiss Knives available on the market today: